There is no better shorthand for a female existential crisis than when a woman says to her hairdresser, “I don’t care, just cut it all off.”
It usually means she’s been wronged by some guy. Or lost her job. Or gained eight pounds.
Hair is a woman’s calling card. It shouldn’t be; we shouldn’t be so shallow. It just is. Hence, why so many religions make women cover up their hair to help poor men avoid temptation.
But giving a hairdresser carte blanche can mean something else. It can mean you have curly hair. I am talking naturally curly hair here not straight hair which has been arranged in meticulous manmade curls.
Let me explain. When you are born with curly hair, there is no control. You are subject to the whims of nature. Humidity, wind, lack of humidity, snow, rain, sleet. It doesn’t matter what the weather, curly hair reacts and usually in an unforeseen fashion.
That is why, when I heard Jessica Shaw on EW Morning Live today announce she had given her hairdresser the green light to hack away, I totally understood. She has curly hair. Hacking it all off is a way to end the frustration.
Oh, you could get a daily blowout if you don’t mind spending hours and a mortgage payment so someone can work on their biceps. Or, you could get a chemical treatment to straighten your hair if you don’t mind the teensy weensy risk of cancer.
No, for most of us with curly hair, “Cut it all off!” is a way of saying “I’m over it. I’m tired of fighting. I give up.”
Until you look in the mirror and realize in horror that the shorter you go, the curlier it gets and the spectre of months and years of growing out your hair until you get to a “manageable” length is like a life sentence.
I know. I’ve served a number of them. Consecutively.